Trying to find ways to improve rental housing issues across Ontario can be a challenge for cities. In Hamilton, the city is discussing a licensing system for landlords to help manage landlord and tenant issues. However, a new consultant's report argues that this might lead to landlords removing their homes from rent altogether, leading to a rental housing shortage in the city.
Hamilton and other Ontario cities are struggling to balance the need for new rental properties with addressing landlord and tenant issues. Some argue that a licensing system will provide a way to keep noncompliant landlords from taking advantage of their tenants. Several municipalities have already taken this step, and Hamilton is currently considering it as well.
Critics of the system say the red tape will cause a rental property shortage and rent increases. They say that there are other ways to deal with irresponsible landlords, including encouraging anonymous tips and free rental unit inspections. They suggest that property standards enforcement can be used rather than the current proposal of revoking a license. Others feel that the enforcement currently in place is not adequate to protect tenants.
Different municipalities across Ontario are experimenting with ways to manage landlord and tenant issues, including issuing a licensing program. Those looking to purchase a rental property or rent a residence should be familiar with local and provincial laws beforehand. Those facing issues with a rental property or looking to be compliant with local laws should contact a lawyer or licensed paralegal experienced in litigating real estate issues.
Source: The Hamilton Spectator, "Report argues against licensing rental housing", Mark Mcneil, Feb. 4, 2018